I can officially say that Spring has sprung here in New Jersey. This weekend was a dream come true with over 70 degree days and abundance of sunshine. Every season change is magical but the arrival of Spring is special. Waking up to the sound of the chirping birds is usually the first thing I notice. It doesn’t bother me at all, on the contrary it’s music to my ears. The trees are starting to bloom and the gloominess is finally gone. I love this time of the year.
We spent a good part of Sunday morning clearing our backyard of the massive amount of leaves that accumulated since last Fall. It took eight garbage bags to get it done yet we have a small backyard. Sometimes I feel as if all the leaves in the neighborhood make their way into our yard. Thankfully that project is done. For me this marks the official start to the barbecue season. That evening I made Peruvian chicken, garlic potatoes with fresh herbs and a BLT salad for our friends. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the deck, with wine and great company.
The only day off I had came and went faster than I could notice but it was just what I needed. Can’t wait till next weekend.
Until next time, I leave you with this bowl of ramen.
Ramen is insanely easy to prepare. You can add all sorts of ingredients, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy or pretty much anything you like. For me a hard boiled egg and Sriracha is a must!
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 1 hanger steak (about ½ lbs), sliced thin against the grain
- 9 oz ramen noodles
- 2 beef bouillons
- handful fresh spinach
- 5 button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 hard boiled egg, cut in half (optional)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Add sliced hanger steak. Let marinade for about 15 minutes.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add beef bouillons and dissolve. Adjust salt to taste.
- Bring a separate pot of water to a boil, add ramen and cook a few minutes until the noodles are done. Drain. Set aside.
- In a hot skillet sauté steak slices until lightly brown.
- To serve, arrange noodles in a soup bowl, top with steak, mushrooms, scallions and spinach. Ladle enough broth to cover.
- Top with half an egg.
- Great with Sriracha.
I just finished watching Wolf of Wall Street and must say it was amazing. Although the movie was quite lengthy and took us two nights to watch, it was worth every moment. I am now even more upset with the Academy Awards. Leonardo DiCaprio was incredible in it. How does he not have an Oscar yet?!
The movie was responsible for the lack of dinner. I wanted to make something quick and easy so that we can finish watching it and these crostini did just that. I’m making them again on Sunday for a dinner party we’re hosting, except they’ll actually make appetizers as they should be.
My love for smoked salmon goes back, way back. It is an item you’ll find in our fridge on a regular basis. This is my favorite way of having it. Mascarpone is a lighter less savory version of cream cheese and it works magic on this crostini. The clean, airy taste of it doesn’t overpower the salmon, instead it lets the flavors to be fully savored.
Doesn’t it make for a beautiful dish?
What is your favorite crostini recipe?
- 2 slices of good quality crusty bread (not the prepackaged kind)
- 3-4 slices of smoked nova salmon
- 1 tbsp mascarpone cheese
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 radish, sliced
- fresh chives and dill
- Toast the bread.
- Spread the mascarpone cheese evenly between two slices.
- Top with a few slices of nova salmon, cucumber & radish slices and fresh herbs.
We had such a fun weekend but three birthday parties and Disney Jr Live have proven to be a little exhausting. What a difference a decade makes. It my 20’s I could have done all this with my eyes closed, now in my 30’s my body reminds me to slow down. It seems that Monday morning is the time for that reminder. It’s more like a cruel joke. Are you supposed to come out of a weekend tired? I don’t think so. Well there is always the next one to catch up on some rest.
How many of you watched CMA’s on Sunday night? I was amazed by how beautiful Miranda Lambert looked. Naturally I wanted to know how she lost all that weight. I did some reading. Miranda says she does cardio and exercises portion control. Perfect! I can do that. As a matter of fact I’m already doing that. Although I didn’t even need motivation, I got it anyway. After a weekend full of food, drinks and late night adventures I could not wait to get back to eating good again.
I adore roasted beets. I rely on quinoa to keep me full and satisfied without extra calories. Quinoa combined with roasted beets and blue cheese crumbles is a sweet and savory side option perfect with fish and even better all by itself the next day.
I’ve made this salad numerous times and every time I fall in love with it all over again.
- 2 medium red beets, washed and scrubbed
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup low fat italian dressing
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the top (rough part) of the beets. Wrap in aluminum foil. Pierce the top of the beet right through the foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 min to 1 hour. Allow to cool before peeling the skin, then dice into bite size pieces.
- Meanwhile cook quinoa according to package directions. (I use my rice cooker to make quinoa and it comes out perfect every time)
- In a small bowl combine cooked quinoa, roasted beets, scallions and blue cheese crumbles. Mix gently. Then add dressing and stir to coat.
- Serve immediately or cooled.
I am happy because I’m tired. Sounds weird right? Well I’m happy it’s Friday because I am exhausted and somewhat sleep deprived. We’ve got a jam packed agenda this weekend with three different birthday parties as well as a surprise trip for Briana on Sunday. Kurt and I are taking her to see Nick Jr. on Tour. She has no idea where we’re going but I’m sure she’ll be freaked out excited. I am most probably going to need a day off afterwards so I can actually get some rest.
Pasta has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m sure it is my body’s way of requesting carbs. To be honest, I didn’t even notice but thinking through what I’ve been eating lately, carbohydrates were far and few in between. That can be another reason for my exhaustion because getting up earlier than usual for work has nothing to do with it.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Hope you have a fabulous weekend. Thank you friends for reading my blog.
- 1 9 oz package of fresh linguine (I used Butoni)
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 slices of bacon, sliced thinly
- ¼ cup andouille sausage, cubed
- ½ cup leeks, bright part only, thinly sliced (or one small onion, chopped)
- 1 bunch asparagus cut into one inch peaces, ends trimmed
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic bulb just enough to expose the cloves, place in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly and roast for 30 min.
- Remove garlic from aluminum foil and allow to cool. Gently squeeze the cloves out of the bulb into a small bowl. Mash and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to instructions. Drain reserving a cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon and sausage in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Add leeks, red pepper flakes and mashed up garlic to the same skillet. Add ¼ cup of pasta water and chopped basil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add asparagus and half the bacon mixture. Cook another 2 minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. The sauce consistency should be medium thick.
- Gently mix in pasta and parmesan cheese.
- To serve plate the linguine and top with bacon mixture. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy.
This might be the simplest chicken fingers recipe you’ll find.
I am having writer’s block.
It took me five minutes just to come up with that sentence. I kept searching for an idea I thought might come crawling out from deep within. All I came up with was nothing. Many nights I lay in bed for hours tortured by my own creativity and yet when the times comes I draw a blank. Go figure. Wow, I actually wrote an entire paragraph about nothing.
Well since I am so uncreative today and did not photograph my very boring eats for our What I Ate Wednesday fun I might as well share a recipe. But if you’re curious what other bloggers are eating head on over to Peas & Crayons for a weekly party of food sharing.
Happy Birthday to my love, my best friend and the best daddy I know – my husband Kurt. Briana and I love you!
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into 3 strips each
- ½ cup Panko
- ¼ cup low fat Vegenaise (or mayo)
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Season the chicken strips with salt.
- In a small bowl combine Panko, paprika and parmesan cheese.
- In another small bowl stir vegenaise.
- Dip each strip in vegenaise to coat slightly, then roll on the breadcrumb mixture until well coated.
- Arrange on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through inside.